Off-shore wind power project considered

Aug. 9, 2012 at 5:24 PM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 9 (UPI) -- The White House announced it is going forward with the assessment of floating offshore wind technology on the Outer Continental Shelf off Maine.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will assess the request by Statoil North America for a commercial wind lease to build a demonstration project of full-scale floating wind turbine technology off the Maine coast, a U.S. Department of the Interior release reported Thursday.

The proposed project, about 12 nautical miles off the coast, would have a 12-megawatt production capacity through four wind turbine generators.

"This is the first time that this innovative floating technology is being considered for development in deeper waters offshore our coasts," Deputy Secretary of the Interior David J. Hayes said.

The BOEM is seeking public comment -- through a Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement -- on the proposed wind lease that would cover around 22 square miles.

"BOEM has been engaged in productive discussions with Statoil regarding this forward-looking project, and we are working closely with our Maine Renewable Energy Task Force," BOEM Director Tommy P. Beaudreau said.

"We will continue our close coordination as the U.S. federal government, the state of Maine and other stakeholders proceed with the next steps in the review of this project, including moving forward with environmental review and determining whether there's competitive interest from other developers."

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